While the pandemic has weakened the commercial real estate market in Jacksonville, big deals and big plans for development continue. While the office market continues to struggle, large transactions in the commercial real estate sector and the new commercial darling in Jacksonville last year, industrial, are both signs of optimism.
It’s expected that the office market will continue to suffer, and not bounce back immediately when the pandemic ends. However, the bright light is there may be changes, rather than total abandonment, of offices. Companies are likely to shift to more socially-distanced offices, rather than give up on the office space for remote working all together. Over the next two years, it’s expected new leases will boom as businesses change the workplace environment.
That confidence has helped larger deals see through 2020. The largest deal of 2020 in Jacksonville, Hertz Investment Group’s sale of the Bank of America Tower for $75.5 million or $108 per square foot, along with other sales are reason for confidence.
That, in part, is also why development has not halted in Jacksonville. But other factors include space and population growth.
The population in Jacksonville continues to climb, as more Americans bought homes, especially in Florida. Another aspect benefiting Jacksonville? It’s home to a lot of available land, especially North and West of the city. Industrial development is also expected to continue to grow due to the available land. Jacksonville has a significant upper-hand for industrial development, compared to other major cities in Florida, due to the abundance of land.
New development planned in e-commerce, food and beverage, and all of their supporting industries will help drive commercial real estate in Jacksonville into 2021. New retail tenants like grocery will continue as the population growth continues.
What is the message to take from this? While there is equal parts of uncertainty, and optimism, there is one constant. As always, land has been a safe investment, even as we navigate one of the worst pandemics faced in the United States in 100 years.
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